Newly appointed President of Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) Rizly Illyas is confident that the country can resume the sport of Rugby and have their first tournament by the end of October 2020.
“We have made a document that includes all the information regarding the resumption of Rugby in the country. We have to present it to the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Health to get the go-ahead.
If it goes well, we will have the Dialog Inter-Club sevens by the end of October this year,” stated Mr. Illyas, addressing his inaugural press briefing. The SLR executive committee looks at the upcoming season in a positive light.
Rugby was halted permanently following the COVID-19 outbreak in March, resulting the 2019/20 season being cut short from its 16 weeks to 14 weeks, and the Dialog Clifford Cup being cancelled.
The SLR committee plans to have a briefing on the 17th of September with all of its stakeholders to lay out the ground rules about the safe return of Rugby.
Currently, Cricket and Football have returned to their usual form with tournaments being conducted around the country. When questioned as to why there was a delay for Rugby to resume, the Secretary of SLR Jude Pillai stated that it was the nature of the sport that made it difficult.
“Rugby is a contact sport, and is unlike Cricket and Football. Therefore, we had to compile different rules and procedures to see a return. That is why there is a delay in comparison to the other sports,” he added.
According to SLR, the Inter-Club 7’s is proposed to be played in late October, while the Dialog Rugby League for 2020/21 will kick off in February.